Human Restoration Project


71: Post-Standardization: Schools for a Free and Democratic Society w/ Dr. William Ayers

Ep. 71

Today I am joined by Dr. William Ayers, a retired education professor at the University of Chicago whose work is rooted in progressive ideology. Ayers was heavily involved in the free school movement in the 1960s, and his work reflects a focus on democratic schooling and building a more free society. Ayers is a prolific author, including writing On the Side of the Child: Summerhill Revisited, Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, and the recently released "You Can't Fire the Bad Ones!": And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education.

In this podcast, Ayers and I talk about the opportunity that COVID-19 provides teachers to throw out standardized testing and build a better system. We discuss the College Board, the connection between testing and the financial industry, how testing impacts the culture of a school, and what a classroom without these tests could mean.


Dr. William Ayers, professor of education at the University of Chicago, elementary education expert, education reform activist, author, and researcher.



More Episodes


80: Pandemic Pods, School Choice, and Combating Inequity w/ Dr. Jon Hale

Ep. 80
Today, Chris and I (Nick) are joined by John Hale, whose biography you will hear at the beginning of the interview. John was recently the guest of a Soho Forum debate on the topic of pandemic pods, which you heard excerpts of at the beginning of this episode and confined in its entirety on YouTube.Since the Human Restoration Project has primarily been focused on pedagogy and changing the structures of school, I wanted to have John on to talk more about the history and ramifications of education policy and help us unpack what's really going on in our current conversations about pandemic pods, voucher programs and the recently announced Bezos Academy. How can we simultaneously acknowledge that schools need to change while being critical advocates for the need for public institutions and employee unions? How have market oriented takes on so-called school choice actually subverted the original intent of independent and charter schools? It's a really interesting conversation and it was great to talk to John. I'm sure we'll have him on again to talk education policy, history and organization in the future.GUESTSDr. Joe Hale, professor of educational policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, and author of the forthcoming book, "The Choice We Face" (working title)RESOURCESJeff Bezos is opening a tuition-free preschool for underserved children (CNN)Savage Inequalities by Jonathan KozolSmall Schools and ChoiceRevisited by Deborah MeierFURTHER LISTENINGAre ‘Pandemic Pods’ a Symptom of the Public School Monopoly? A Soho Forum Debate (YouTube)